Tuesday, December 2, 2008

(More) Unrealistic Expectations (Reply)

(Picture Left: Even declawed cats wind up on shelter Euthanasia lists -- like the one here. Sadly, many declaws totally freak out when being dumped in a shelter and often go down for so-called, "behavior.")

SK Dean Writes: My current foster is a sweet and loving declawed cat who initially came to me due to a severe eye injury; possibly kicked in the head, but we'll never know for sure. Although the injury has healed, "Sabrina" has lost the sight in her left eye, which now appears cloudy and somewhat discolored. To make her prospects for adoption even worse, the vet places her age at somewhere between 8-9 years. Although advertised on the shelter website and Petfinder.com, and described as sweet and loving, and a lap-cat who would be ideal for an older person, we have not had a single inquiry into adopting her!

Reply: I presume you emphasized the fact this cat in declawed in your promotions of her, as there are people who seek out a declawed cat. Barbaric as the practice is, it is ironically, often a "selling point" for cats.

But, as you note in the rest of your comment, since the cat is older, that of course detracts from her "adoptbility." That, and any "disability" of course.

As noted last week, as older people will often demand puppies or young, active dogs, those seeking declawed cats often demand kittens or adolescent cats.

Another "demand" that doesn't make any sense.

As I have often said to impossible adopters like these: "Someone isn't going to spend $400.00 to declaw a cat and then dump the cat a couple of months later!"

Declawed cats, when they DO come into shelters or rescue are almost ALWAYS older felines!

Eight or nine years, is, in fact typical of the average declawed cat who arrives at a shelter or rescue.

The other thing that should be noted about declawed cats is that in most cases, they have been psychologically altered by the traumatic act of declawing.

These cats are much more easily threatened and defensive than other cats. They are often uncomfortable around small, active kids and even other pets. Declawed cats seem to know they are "different" and often act accordingly. In having their main line of defense taken away, some declawed cats take to biting when feeling threatened. Others may have problems with the litter box and particularly, gravel litter as it irritates the sensitive paws of a a declawed cat.

You are wise to seek out a mature and quiet home for this cat. Preferably one without other pets.

Unfortunately, as noted, in most cases, seekers of declawed cats expect then to come that way as kittens.

As if the kitten would declaw him or herself!

And to think further that one can mutilate an animal and then expect that there are no consequences or repercussions from that action is equally unrealistic.

I too, have a declawed cat rescued almost two years ago.

"Brandon" is so terrified of other animals and is sometime erratic with the litter box, he too, has proved to be a very difficult, if not impossible adoption.

Personally, I believe declawing should be banned because of its inherit cruelty.

Unfortunately, such law would result in even more cats being dumped in shelters.

Sometimes I think with cats, one cannot win.

But, the "fault" is not with the cats; it's with the people. -- PCA


1 comment:

amby111 said...

I too have a declawed "foster" cat, now 11 eleven years old, whom I have never been able to find a home for. She was dumped at the shelter when she was 8 because she didn't get along with the new kitten in the household. Though beautiful, she is a severely traumatized cat and is so terrified of other animals, I have to keep her by herself in my home office. Hardly the kind of life I had envisioned for her when I took her from the shelter.

One of the most tragic results of declawing I've witnessed involved a six month old tabby kitten named Cypher. He was adopted from my local "no kill" shelter at the age of eight weeks. His adopter had him declawed and returned him to the shelter several months later for being "too active." Cypher was full of life, playful, and also a biter when he came back to the shelter. He was kept in the basement feral cat room for several weeks before being euthanized for "behavior problems." My feeling is that if the shelter had properly educated the adopter on kitten behavior and perhaps steered her toward an older, less active cat if she wasn't up for dealing with an active kitten, this would not have happened. I also have to wonder if the shelter's liberal adoption process, which doesn't screen adopters for information such as whether or not they intend to declaw, doesn't result in more (traumatized) animals being returned in the long run.